The San Marzano DOP

The San Marzano tomato is known and appreciated in all the world for its features, which are enhanced by the transformation into "peeled". The presence of a number of concomitant factors such as: the Mediterranean climate and extremely fertile soil and of excellent structure, the skill and the experience gained by the farmers of the area of production over the decades, has contributed to its success in the world, crowned in 1996 by the European Union's recognition as P.D.O.

The intrinsic characteristics that have enhanced the product, favouring its knowledge and its consumption are: tipically sweet and sour taste, elongated shape of the berry with parallel longitudinal depressions, deep red colour, low presence of seeds and placental fibers, red skin and easy to peel. These, together with the physical and chemical properties, make it unmistakable. The protected designation of origin designates the product only "peeled" (the EU is under evaluation the Consortium's proposal to admit in the specification, in addition to "the whole" peeled tomato also "peeled in fillets”), coming from the processing of the fruits of the ecotype San Marzano and improved lines of it.

The product entered for consumption must have precise technological features: uniform with red colour a/b ratio of not less than 2.2; elongated and parallelepiped structure with lengths from 60 to 80 mm; absence of extraneous odours and tastes; the drained weight not less than 65% of the net weight; refractometry residue not less than 4%; ph between 4.2 and 4.5. It allowed the addition of salt (max 3% of p.n.), basil leaves, tomato juice (but only San Marzano). The cultivation technique of the fresh product provides the vertical type of plants with the use of braces, respecting the tradition, though, for the high number of man- hours required, this technique greatly impacts on the cost of production. The tomato, as it is known, is native of Central America. In Europe came in 17 beginning in Spain, where he was given an ornamental value. The food value of this crop was only discovered later, according to somebody not until the 18 when it was released in different countries of the Mediterranean. According to some testimonies of oral tradition it is said that the first tomato seed is in Italy around 1770, as a gift of the Kingdom of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples and that would th century, at the have been planted in the area that corresponds to the district of San Marzano. From this, derives the origin of this famous tomato, that over time, with various actions of selections, has acquired the characteristics of the current ecotype. According to other testimony, however, only in 1902 it has some evidence of presence, between Nocera, San Marzano and Sarno, of the famous ecotype. Gourmets delight, smell of Sundays and of feasts characterized by the red sauce that covered the white pasta from Gragnano and Torre Annunziata, San Marzano tomato took great appreciation from the gastronomic point of view towards the beginning of the 20 first industries were established, by Francesco Cirio, which produced the famous "peeled" for sauce. In a recent past the San Marzano was also called "red gold" for the economic value that had managed to take to the farmers of the agro sarnese- nocerino.

In the 1980s the culture underwent a drastic reduction, both in terms of surface and production, for phitosanitary and economic reasons (referring especially to burdensome cropping technique), but the recovery action, to preserve genetic lines and improvement started by the Campania region and today consolidated by Consortium, has allowed the protection and its relaunch on international basis. In fact, the San Marzano PDO tomatoes are witnessing a new era of rebirth and today it is required not only in Europe and America, but also in other continents, where it is expanding thanks to the growing success of the "Mediterranean diet". 




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